A Celebration of Independent Artists
“I want to do a cabaret,” Kris said, one November evening. This was not a new idea to him, as he’d been working to put the pieces together for months, but when he said it, I could hear a newfound determination that had not revealed itself previously. I replied resolutely, “Okay. Let’s do a cabaret.” In the next week, Kris found a venue, we signed a contract, took deep breaths and hit the ground running! Our experiences at various regional and community theaters have given us the tools to carry out this vision. Through the generous support of the Salvation Army Kroc Center, Bert and Emily Wakely, and many others, this vision has become a reality. Now here I am, writing a guest blog for Fête Greenville and announcing the date of our cabaret! I’m honored. Gravity is a FREE, one night only musical event at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, located in downtown Greenville. The performance features twelve local and exceptionally talented artists and musicians: Kristofer Parker (Director/Performer), Dale Forsythe (Accompanist), Leah Thomas (Producer/Manager/Performer), Celia Blitzer, Seth Crawford, Audrey Crocker, DeAna Earl, Jessica Eckenrod, Karlee Ferreira, Darius Gillard, Mary Lyle Smith, and Mark Wiles. The show premiers on January 17th, 2015, at 7:00 pm. Gravity features the music of up and coming New York composer, Jonathan Reid Gealt. We are also thrilled to be showcasing two songs written by local composer and fellow performer, Jessica Eckenrod.
The purpose of Gravity is twofold: introduce new work from accomplished artists and revive the spirit of individual creativity within ourselves and the community. As actors in a tightly knit theatre community, Kris and I wanted to remind ourselves that our art isn’t defined by an institution subscribing to our abilities. Our art is defined and refined by the inspiration we bring to it and how it affects the world. Ultimately, we believe that if we nurture our own creativity as artists, pushing ourselves to defeat our self-doubt and the doubt imposed on us by others, we will positively affect our community in meaningful ways. This show was conceived by independent artists, is produced by independent artists, and will be performed by independent artists. We represent ourselves, with no affiliation to any local theater or group. Our hope in premiering Gravity is to nurture a body of work that allows each individual artist to be challenged, while also set free. This is the magic of theater! This show is very powerful, telling truths in simple, vulnerable ways, and we believe it’s beautiful. Please come and join us! Did I mention that it’s free?
Leah M. Thomas – guest blogger